DARK EARTH

RPG by MICROPROSE


A Solution by Lu Richardson
---------------------------

General:

The most difficult things in this game are fighting and not losing 
your bearings - you can easily get disoriented by the sudden changes 
of perspective as you go from one end of the screen to the other.  
Therefore, you must get used to them as soon as you can.  

Finding items is also rather difficult, and the only way you are not 
going to miss out is by standing in front of just about everything 
remotely promising and using the space bar.  As ever in this type of 
game, the more trouble you take exploring carefully, the more you 
will get out of it:  but see what I say on this subject further down.

Although you should generally not carry a weapon equipped, since 
this makes people nervous, be quick to respond if you can see someone
is not going to be reasonable; i.e., equip a weapon and get into 
combat mode immediately.  If you must kill someone, don't forget to 
search the body.

Save the long gun and the flamethrower for the end of the game, if 
at all posible.  If absolutely necessary, use the other guns.  Ammo 
and boilers are incredibly hard to find, and you won't be able to 
finish the very last part of the game unless you have sufficient 
fire power.

Another word about fighting.  Because items which restore your 
energy points are very few indeed, try not to lose too many - if 
you do, it's well worth reloading your last saved game and have 
another go.  This is why you must save so often.

Mostly, you should try to talk everyone you meet, till they begin to 
repeat what they've already said.

It would be too tedious to tell you to search everywhere, so do me a 
favour and investigate minutely each room as you come to it (again, 
see below).  As well, look out for those panels on the walls which 
allow you to save and do so often.  

In fact, it is imperative in this game to save and find out where 
everything is so that you lose no time in covering each section; 
trust me on this.  So, save, find out leisurely what to do and where 
the goodies are hidden, then reload and go for it. 

Giving directions in this game is rather fraught, because you've 
only got to walk a few paces and your left and your right might 
trade places.  Still, I'll do my best and I sure you are all 
exceedingly bright and will understand that, roughly, right means 
the right side of the screen as you look at it, left the opposite 
side, up means to the top of the screen (unless, of course there are 
stairs clearly visible) and down to the bottom of the screen (again, 
unless there are stairs).

One final word.  Every time you play, things change slightly.  You 
could go about the whole thing in a totally different way and in a 
different order, and you would get other results.  This is only "a" 
solution and not "the" solution; be prepared for things not 
happening exactly as I describe them.  I have no control over this.


Here we go:


The Upper City
--------------

The Calm Before the Storm

The game starts one fine morning as you get out of bed.  Talk to the 
girl.  Pick up the meat on the table (keep it, you'll need it much
later), investigate the room, pick up your sword and the uniform and 
make for the door.  Zed is outside and he urges you to follow him.  
Do so and get plenty of practice fighting, both him and the girl.  
When you've had enough, go downstairs.  There is an axe in the 
training grounds, by the way, in case you need it later.  Weapons do 
break quite often, so collect as many as you can.

Find the door with a guard in front and enter to see Dhorkan (he is 
the boss here), who will give you your orders.  Leave and walk to 
the other end of the hall.  Go downstairs; talk to the guys, find a 
flask and fill it from the cask at the foot of the stairs.  Leave.  
As you come out you have a nice eyeview.  There is the Temple to the 
N, the Builder's Palace to the E, the way to the Lower City to the S 
and you've just come W from the Tower.  In the center courtyard, a 
well.  Go to the Temple, where you will see two figures.  As you 
approach, you overhear what they are saying.  Enter the Temple and 
talk to your fellow guard.  Presently, there will be a commotion and 
you will run into the room.

Watch and, as soon as you can, fight.  Watch some more.

The Deadly Infection

You wake up in the infirmary.  Oh, dear.  Before you have a chance 
to recover from the shock, a guard will attack you.  Defend yourself 
and, at the end, take up his weapon.  Thanadar, the local quack, 
will come in and talk to you.  At the end of that conversation, use 
the panel to save your game.  

(A word of warning.  From here on you will get sicker as time goes 
by - two black bars will rise alongside your red energy bar on the 
icon in the corner of the screen.  It is absolutely essential that 
you don't waste any time.  So, I repeat, save, do a trial run and 
then do it for real, one section at a time.)

Go up, pick up the dagger and the before-flask and then come out and 
leave through the door to the right.  Walk along here and enter the 
next door - this is Rylsadhar's house.
  
You'll find a flask around here.  Also, note the locked door.  Go 
further in and talk to Rylsadhar.  Kalhi will come in.  At the end 
of all the talking, pick up the parchment on the floor and examine 
it.  Leave, go up the stairs and enter the Temple, go to the doors 
you were supposed to guard and walk in.  

These are the Council Chambers and you can check out the panels all 
around (but only on a test run).  Walk to the other end of the room, 
up the stairs and enter the door on the left.  

There you will meet the Archivist.  Talk to him.  No sign of 
Rylsadhar.  Go to the open book which can be read and read it.  To 
the right of it, you will see a strange contraption.  Use the 
parchment you found at Rylsadhar's and press the space bar - a drawer 
opens and you get a punchcard.  In the stove by the door there is an 
important item, namely a "mirror".  Equip anything you wish to know 
about and ask the Archivist.  He is a mine of information.  Leave; 
you might like to check the room next door, but don't do it in "real 
time" because it contains nothing right now and you can't afford to 
waste time.

Down the stairs and out, move left and enter the next room.  In 
front of a huge crystal you will notice a red hole in the ground.  
If you move on in, you'll meet a rather obnoxious Sunseer.  Talk to 
him, then leave (on the other hand he might not be there - don't 
worry, it's not important).

Walk around the contraption at the centre of the Temple's inner 
courtyard (looks like a complicated telescope) till you find the 
stairs up.  Use the punched card in the slot, go down the stairs and 
pull the lever to the left.  Marvellous.  I don't know quite where 
that got us, but it does look impressive, you must admit.

Leave here and go into the Tower.  You'll meet old friends.  Take 
their advice and go to see Dhorkan.  Keep talking to the guard till 
he lets you in.  Dhorkan doesn't seem too worried about your 
problems but he is suspicious of Thanandar.  Come to that, so I am.  
Also of Dhorkan.  Leave, go to your room and save.  There is a guy 
in here you can talk to, but he doesn't have anything really 
interesting to say.

Far it be from me to suggest you actually snitch on Thanandar, but 
you might find it instructive to go and see what he is doing, and I 
hope you have a strong stomach.

Right, whether you follow Dhorkan's orders or not, now is the time 
to go towards the stairs that lead down and out to the Temple;
but, instead of going down, go around them and through the doors 
to the right.  Outside, go to the right.  In this room here you can 
pick up some boilers (whatever they are) and some lead plaques.  
Going up the stairs, talk to the cowering Master Oiler and then pick 
up a key near a large book to the left.  Leave and now, by equipping 
the key, you can open the trunk by the door and get a uniform.  If 
you like.

Go back into the Tower.  Opposite your room there is a place where 
you can use the lead plaques in a furnace, to obtain bullets.  There 
is also a trunk, which can be opened with the key, and which 
contains more lead plaques.  Turn them into bullets.  

Go to your room and save the game - if you want to do any more 
exploring around here, now is the time to do so.  You can always 
reload.

You can go now back to the corridor outside and try the door to the 
left.  This leads down to the jail.  Equip a weapon and be ready to 
fight the jailer.  When he is dead, pick up what he is carrying, i.
e., a key.  Ignore requests about bashing the bars and so on.  Open 
the door to the right and go in.  You find Kalhi and have a long 
conversation with her.  When you leave, she will follow you.  You 
might like to save before you go up the stairs.

Head towards the Temple - as you come down the stairs, the guard at 
the door will attack you, so be ready to fight.  When you've killed 
him, take his axe.  Before you go through the door, and if your 
encounter didn't leave you half dead so that you might want to try 
again, use the panel to the right of the door to save your game.  
Out.

Instead of going towards the Temple to the right, walk down and you 
will see a guard in a sort of bridge.  As you approach him, Kalhi 
will make a suggestion.  When the talking is over, equip a weapon 
and run right up close to the guard; start bashing straight away.  
He has a gun and you must not give him room to shoot.  When you've 
killed him, pick up his gun.  Move on and Kalhi will lead you down 
below and to her friend Danrys.

The Lower City
--------------

Talk to Danrys and then get the pickaxe on the table to the left.  
Show her all your weapons and ask her to mend them.  Follow her 
instructions.  Leave and talk to Kubert.  Search for a breastplate 
to the left.  Practically opposite Danrys shop, to the right, there 
is a pile of junk and one of those panels with which you can save.  
Explore around here and move to the left of the screen, looking at 
Danrys' workshop as a point of reference.  Talk to everyone you 
meet.  When you find the merchant lady, swap your flagon for meat.  
Try other things, but hang on to the "mirror".  Carry on.  You'll 
find yourself crossing a bridge.

Eventually you will hit the Nightclub.  Talk to the lady outside.  
Later on, when she moves away, you'll be able to find a flagon on 
the heap of stuff to the left of her - it can be traded for meat.  
Go in and watch the show.  At the end, talk to Maor - you can help 
yourself to the gourd on the table; also on this table, a plate 
which the merchant will swap for a vegetable.  Go to the end of this 
room and up the stairs to talk to the dancer.  In exchange for the 
"mirror" you got at the Library, she will give you the password to 
Sadak.

Leave and continue exploring.  Go right and save your game.  You 
will come to a place where you can go left or right.  Go left and 
enter the boat-shaped house.  Go to the guy on the right.  He is 
Sadak.  If you give him one of your weapons and play him at a game 
suspiciously like Othello, and win, he will give you some info.  

This nearly drove me nuts and I nearly gave up at this time - I 
never was very good at Othello.  Still, I won once by mistake.  I 
can't imagine myself doing this again, so I'll have to go short of 
info.  However, you might like to persevere - you'll soon collect 
weapons enough; just watch the four squares in the four corners.  
Keep clear of each group of them (unless, of course, you can land on 
the corner one) but try to occupy the edges - in order to win, you 
must occupy most of the four corner squares, all if possible.  If 
you win three times, you'll get some flame-thrower ammo.

Go to the other guy and have a chat.  He invites you to replenish 
your gourds.  Leave the "boat" and this time carry to the right - 
note the little platform over the water.  Go through the arch and 
you will spot a house with a locked door, but there is a slot on it 
so that you evidently can go in if you have the wherewithal.  Which 
you don't, right now.  Carry on exploring and around this house and 
around again, you can get a jerrycan under some stairs.  If you go 
up them you will meet with a hostile guard.  Up to you, but you 
needn't do this just now.

The Sewers

Go back to the platform and enter the water.  Go under the arch and 
into the sewers.  Arm yourself because you are about to meet two 
guards, one after the other.  You then come to some stairs.  When 
you go up and walk around them you will see another one of those 
panels to save the game.  An excellent idea to do so.  If you are 
low on energy, eat some meat.  Go down the stairs and watch.

At this point things get sticky and you'll wish you'd bought another 
game instead of this one.  Arm yourself and fight the guy at the 
bottom of the stairs.  If you came off reasonably well, go up the 
stairs and save again.  Go down and to the left.  Search the barrels 
- you'll find a handle around the middle bunch.  You will have spied 
two guards, who will certainly spot you.  Find a convenient place to 
fight them - I managed to corner them both to the left of the screen 
and survived, though I was feeling very sorry for myself at the end 
of it.  If you have more meat, eat it.  If not, hang around till 
your health points go up, or have another bash and hope you don't 
lose so many next time.  Either way, don't be in too much of a hurry 
to go through the arch.  Even if you are in pretty good shape, it is 
worth your while to go up the stairs and save again.

Because what's waiting for you under that arch is none other than 
Sordos himself, and he packs quite a wallop.  I made the mistake of 
going in while I was not myself (not knowing what to expect) and not 
only I found Sordos, but Thanandar as well.  Of course, I bit the 
dust in no time at all.  Do give it a good try, but if you find it 
too difficult to beat them both at once, you can do a spot of cheating.

From your saved game, go back to the Infirmary; save before you go 
into the Operating Theatre and then fight the zombie guard and 
Thanandar and recover from his body two potions and a red key.  
Don't use the Thanandar Potion, you'll need it later.  Go to the 
Temple and use the key on the hole on the ground.  The crypt appears 
and you can go inside and use the white light to cure yourself a 
little.  You can then go back to the sewers.  Don't forget to save 
again when you get to the top of the stairs.

This time, you'll meet Sordos on his own, and though he's no 
pushover, at least you are in with a chance. I only just made it, 
myself.  Fortunately, I found a fish, a chicken leg and a piece of 
meat, so I was able to recover.  Also, on searching Sordos body you 
find a key, which opens the box on the right - inside, a document
with the pact between Sordos and Dorkhan (See?  I knew it!  I 
knew it!).  On top of the throne (or on Sordos) there will be a 
diagram - if you take it to Darys he will make you a flame-throwing 
gun, provided you give her the handle you found amonst the barrels.

Leave this room and go down to the bottom right half of the screen, 
and you will see a little bridge leading to another arch.  Take my 
advice and save again.  Come back and go in fighting (if there are 
two guys in there and you can't cope, go and do the bit with the red 
crystal key now, if you haven't done it already, and then come 
back.  There will only be one enemy left).  Kill the guy and get his 
key.  If you go to the right, you will see a locked door.  Save 
again, if you like.  Equip the key, open the door and watch.  You 
meet Zed and he spills the beans about Thanandar.  Unfortunately, he 
turns into a horrible beast which had me flat on my face before I 
could say "Oh, bother!".  Next time, though, I was prepared and 
killed it without too much trouble.  Search the cell for some 
weapons.

A Plot Exposed

At this point you can go and do things in different orders.  You can 
go to the Temple and watch what happens or go to Dhorkan and beard 
him in his den.  Best to go to Dhorkan's office first.  Outside you 
will meet Phedoria.  Show her the document and then you'll both rush 
in just in time to see Dhorkan do a bunk.  She'll tell you to follow 
him.  Search the desk twice, either side of the chair, to find a 
flask and a stiletto.  Use the stiletto on the hole in the wall to 
open the secret door.

Follow the passage till you get to the Lower City.  Continue as 
though you were going to the boat house but this time turn right.  
You will catch a nasty trying to kill Kalhi.  Defend her and search 
the guy's body for some nice stuff.  It's no use, you've lost 
Dhorkan.  If you now visit Sadak and tell him you killed Sardos, he 
will be very pleased; you'll have to play him again, though.

Go back to the Temple and to the crypt.  When you get there, watch 
what happens.  At the end, go in and look inside.  Look at the dead 
man.  Leave.  Outside, Lory and Phedoria.  Lory asks you to follow 
her, so do so.  Go and talk to her and she will give you the bow of 
a key.  Keep talking to her till she has nothing else to say.  
Leave.  As you are about to go out the door, she will tell you about 
the Master Builder.  Go outside of the Temple and head to the right, 
to the Builder's Palace.  A guard will challenge you.  Kill him and 
step inside.

The Crystal Key

Pull the little lever on the right to go up.  You will meet two 
guys, both of which fit the description given to you by Lory and 
neither will own up to being the Master Builder.  Turn right and 
rummage around till you find a diagram.  Cross to the left and use 
the diagram on the burner.  The real Master Builder caves in.  Talk 
to him and, when he asks for proof, show him the bow of the key.  He 
will give you a crystal.  Search the desk on the left for some 
flame-thrower ammo and then leave and head for the sewers.

Go to the house with the slot by the door.  Before you go under the 
arch, arm yourself and enter combat mode.  Go in and you will see 
Dhorkan.  Fight him and kill him.  Recover everything he is 
carrying.  One of these items is a strange plate - use that on the 
slot.  Go in and search around, to the top right of the door, and 
you will find an object.  Leave.

Turn to your right and go up the stairs.  When you get to the panel, 
save.  Carry on along here and you'll see a dead guard.  Keep moving 
and you will see a fight going on.  Now, this is very tricky.  You 
have to wade in and fight the baddy without hurting the goody.  
You'll find that if you can land a good blow on the darker figure, 
the other guy will remove itself.  While fighting the baddy, try and 
corner him on the left hand side of the screen, otherwise you might 
hit the other fellow by mistake.  If you get it all wrong, or if you 
lose too many energy points, reload and start again.  When you are 
successful, talk to the guy you've saved.  Keep talking to him till 
he gives you something, and then some more till he has nothing else 
to say.  He gave me a helmet, but I ended up with a heavy suit - may 
be the helmet welded itself to the armourplate I was carrying plus 
the before-flask.  Very strange.  At any rate, you can leave now and 
go to Danrys.

Show him the strange object and he will send you to Bogdaran.  Go up 
the lift and head for the Tower.  Enter and you will overhear a 
conversation.  Save on the panel by the door.  Arm yourself and be 
ready to run in and crowd the guard, who has a gun.  Kill him 
quickly and get the gun.  Go up the stairs and find your way to 
Bogdaran.  On the way, pick up some boilers.  When you get to him, 
equip the strange item - but if you try to talk to him, he cowers 
away.  Get into combat mode and pop him one.  Just one will do, 
don't get over-enthusiastic.  Now he is ready to talk.  Give him the 
strange item and he tells you to come back.  Go downstairs and up 
again, and he'll ask you to fetch Delia to him.  You have no 
choice.  Go back to the Lower City.

The Dark Takeover

As you come into the Nightclub, head directly to Delia's room.  Talk 
to her and she'll agree to come with you.  Arm yourself.  As you 
come out Maor gets tough with you.  Fight him and kill him.  Now 
guide Delia to Bogdaran, though personally I shouldn't like to be 
seen around with anyone so scantily dressed.  Plus she could catch 
her death of ammonia.

When you get to the Upper City, you will see a dying guard amongst a 
horrible mess.  Talk to him.  You have been warned.  Go to the Tower 
and use the save panel.  If you can't kill the beast hand to hand, 
reload, equip the gun, advance slowly and shoot until it's dead.  
Collect Delia and carry on upstairs.  There is a tender reunion, 
then talk to Bogdaran, who has mended the item and warns you not to 
let it near water.  Well, guess where we are going next.  See if 
some flame-thrower ammo has materialized on the shelves before you 
leave.

Head for the sewers.  As you pass the Nightclub, it might be worth 
your while to go in and find the meat behind the bar.  There is also 
a bowl here and another plate sometimes appears on the table.  Not 
much use to you now.  Carry on to the sewers.  When you get to the 
top of the stairs, save your game.  If you go to the place where 
poor old Zed got his, you might find a guard imprisoned.  Fight the 
jailer and free the guard using the stiletto on the lock.  That's 
your good deed for the day.

In Deep Water

OK, back to the save panel.  You will notice there is a small ladder 
going into the water.  Use the metal suit and press the space bar 
to go down.  Equip a weapon immediately.  Walk down and be on the 
look out because, as soon as the perspective changes and you are 
going up, a monster will attack you.  Best to change to combat mode 
and walk backwards till it appears.  Kill it.  Carry on till you 
spy some arches.  Follow through here.  Eventually you'll come to 
some stairs going up.  You come out on an island.  

You automatically remove your diving gear - equip a weapon 
immediately and fight the beast who will attack you.  You will see 
another monster to the left of the screen.  Run to it in combat 
mode, and bash away at once.  Walk to the right and you will enter 
shallow water.  Walk to the top and to the left and you will come to 
a cave entrance.  Go in.

Wander around here till you find some stairs.  You might even find a 
nasty snake in the water - it's best to shoot it with one of the 
small guns, preferably not Zed's gun.  Coming up the stairs you will 
come to another entrance and you will meet the woman everyone has 
been telling you about.  Have a long chat with her.  Over her 
fireplace there is one of those panels for saving.  Leave and find 
three fairly visible bluish rocks, right where you shot the snake.  
Use Danrys pickaxe on it to get a crystal splinter.  Enter the water 
and use it twice to improve your state (bear in mind that this will 
diminish your energy points, so if they are very low you could 
die).  Now you can leave the cave and go all the way to Danrys.

However, as you cross the bridge, be prepared because you are going 
to be attacked by a very large beast indeed.  Save at the pile of 
junk before you advance.  Now go to Danrys, show him the key and 
give him the crystal.  He will make you a key. 

Go to Rylsadhar's house but, as you come down the stairs, you will 
be met by two guards; wait till the one on the right comes right up
close before you attack.  The other will wait his turn, so try not 
to involve him in the fight yet.  Go into the house and open the 
door with the key.  When you get in look at everything carefully.  
You'll find some notes and some drawings.  Get into aggresive mode 
(press the tab key) and use the telescope.  You'll find a large key.

Leave and go to the well in the centre courtyard.  You could go into 
the temple and find that Lory and Phedora have been killed, but that 
the Archivist is doing fine.  However, the price for this is 
fighting another nasty beast on the way out.

The Tomb

Find the lock of the grate at the well and use the large key on it.  
Use the strange object in the open well and back off.  There is a 
tremendous explosion.  Walk around the hole and you'll find a staff 
with a blade broken off.  The missing bit is at the foot of the 
stairs to the Infirmary.  Bring it back and use it on the staff.  
Now change to aggresive mode and, walking to the foot of the staff, 
use it.  You jump in and go all the way to the bottom.

Down there, walk to the left through two doors - the last one will 
close behind you.  You also need a haircut.  If you walk to the right 
you will find a panel for saving your game.  Now go back to the door 
and, to the left and right of it there are some symbols and bars 
and, to the right of the right hand side ones, a lever.  Examine the 
drawings and read the notes you got from the secret room.  You will 
be able to identify some of the symbols.  The others, you'll have to 
guess.  The notes "explain" the mantra.  You are supposed to quote 
this mantra by moving the bars to the correct symbol and then you 
have to pull the vertical lever on the right.  Starting on the left 
hand side of the door:  first bar from the left down, the other two 
up.  On the right hand side of the door, starting from the left:  
first bar up, second bar down and third bar up.  Pull the lever to 
the right.  This opens the door which closed behind you.  Go and 
save your game then go through it.

I can only conclude from the next section that the programmers are 
terminal sadists.  After putting us through this game denying us 
food and ammo, not letting us wait to recover energy points because 
we get sick, and throwing no end of hostile people and monsters at 
us, now this.

You will get an bird's eye view of a maze, over which deadly 
spinning blades travel at speed and will kill you instantly if you 
come anywhere near them.  And you have to come near them.  You will 
see from the layout that your safest route is following the right 
hand side of the character.  Enter into aggresive mode and press the 
space bar to crouch and observe the movement of the blades.  Press 
the space bar again to advance a few steps at a time, when it is 
safe - wait and pick your moment.

Because of the perspective, it is very difficult to judge where the 
openings are and whether you are going to be hit or not.  After 
getting killed time and again in the same point of the maze, and 
having to start right from the beginning again, my patience wore 
rather thin.  If there is something I really, really, really HATE is 
arcade sequences in a RPG game.

Eventually, you will make it to the other side of the maze and you 
will find a panel with which to save.  Equip the flame-thrower or 
the gun, if you've saved up the ammo.  Change to combat mode.  Go up 
the stairs, but watch the last spinning blade, it can hit you still.

When you get through, watch the scene.  At the end, shoot Thanandar 
till he drops.  You won't be able to kill him, but while he's 
stunned, run to the right till you come to the door.  You will see 
that there are two levers to push - the one to the right is kind of
sticking out.  Push it to make a light come on.  Move away from it.  
You will probably be attacked by Thanandar before you get much 
further.  Keep shooting him and pushing the levers; and do it 
quickly.  When the three lights are lit on both sides, the door will 
open and you can go on to watch the grand finale.  

If you can complete this the toughest of all the tough bits in this 
game, you will have earned a complete rest in a Sanatorium for 
Nervous Wrecks.
 

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